SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

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Boy of Steel: 1938

Boy of Steel: 1938

July 1938. "Steelworker's son. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania." Don't worry, kid. This'll look great on your timeline. Photo by Arthur Rothstein. View full size.

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He looks like a happy little fellow

Yeah, he's dirty, but he's been playing all day. Some forget that play is the work of childhood. I think he had more of a childhood than some of our overaccessorized, overscheduled princes and princeeses. Hope he had a good life.

How did we survive?

As an old-timer, I remember when kids were allowed to get filthy dirty, went shirtless in July without being slathered with a thick coat of $10 an oz. sunscreen, AND insect repellent, did not wear helmets for anything, ate sugar, played in the street every day, used our own ice cold garden hose water instead of going to spray parks, played with insects and caterpillars, stray turtles, you name it, and yet lots of us are still here. I'm not advocating child neglect or abuse, but sometimes we seem paranoid and I wonder if Obsessive Compulsive Disorder was recognized then, when being a kid was so carefree.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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